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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 03-27-2010, 12:20 AM   #11
Michael White
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Re: Garage Gym

Wow, Thats an awesome story and just what I was looking for. That kind of Success that quickly is amazing and far more than I am hoping for. Its great to know that someone out there has turned something that started in a garage into a full time gig. Also thanks for the advice on equipment. I was wondering though, it seems as though you started out with very little, just plyo boxes and a few other things, looking back what of the bigger Items, do you think you would have bought first( i.e rower, squat stands ect. )
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:59 AM   #12
Miguel De La Fuente
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Re: Garage Gym

I started with a 2 sets of bumpers, about 10 KBs from 15 to 20s, some 30s, jump ropes, Olympic bars, and training bars (this are good and cheap, in reality how many people lift over 150 over head or how many times are you gonna put a lot of weight on bars. Med Balls, made some parallettes, made some pull up bars, made boxes, and made pvc for skill training.

That's really all I have still, just a little more of it. Some tires and lots of outdoor space. Rowers you really don't need them, how many times are you really gonna use them, and squat racks, their only good for heavy squats, and presses, but that's all. You pretty much can clean the bar with light to medium weight and still do presses.

Don't worry about fancy stuff, think about making WODs fun.
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Old 03-27-2010, 01:32 AM   #13
Michael White
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Re: Garage Gym

now that you mention it you are absolutely right. I personally do plenty of heavy lifting at Cf Malibu right now. But for the most part I can see how any weight that would be used in a WOD would likely be able to be cleaned anyways thanks. If there are any more stories about moving from a gym into a larger more "official" space I would love to hear them. Also if there is anything involved in that, that you did not see coming and wished you had I would also love to hear about that. and just so I don't forget, I have been told by a few people to start off by making the classes free, I was wondering if any one had tried this and if they did, how did you transition people to start paying to take the classes, did it require some explaining and convincing or were most okay with the Idea?
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:35 AM   #14
Jerry Hobbs
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Re: Garage Gym

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel De La Fuente View Post
This my Garage gym story.

I have been a personal trainer for 10 years, since 2003 and in the military before that, also 10 years. I was an instructor in a Special Ops school, had some experience in training people. I was also going to school for Exercise Science. My dream was to open a regular Globo like gym. In 2006 I started Boot Camps, first at the Gym I was working atin Brownsville, Texas. I just made it like morning PT in the military. It started slow, after several months it just grew, the aerobics room was to small. Luckily for me in the back of the gym we had some nice grassy area and a 8 mile beautiful trail the city had just built.

Months later, I had over 35 people per class. And I was asked to offer more classes by members. So I did. I then asked my supervisor for a raise since I was only getting like $10 an hr, and I was bringing a lot of people to gym. He declined. So I talked to the members, and told them I was thinking of starting on my own. I left, and half came with me. Numbers were up and down, for several months

I then did a fundraiser, rode my bike 400 miles to raise funds for a family who need money. That got me publicity, on TV and newspapers, which I didn't expect. I got called from people all over the Valley and an owner from a pro basketball team to donate to my cause and he asked me to be the S&C coach for the team.

I opened boot camps in McAllen, Texas, by now I was finishing my BS in Exercise Science and doing my Internship at a Physical Therapy clinic (where I met my now wife..lol). For about 5 months I traveled 100 miles every day several times a day at times, for school, training the BB team, internship, and boot camps in two cities. It was kicking my Arse with money and it was exhausting.

I trained the BB team, ran my boot camps, members rose to 50 at times. Finished school, then started my MS in Kinesiology, did in home personal training in my spare time. I then started working at the college as the supervisor for the Wellness Center. Through my boot camps and with the help of my members, I continue to help out the community, got involved donating time, presentations on health, my life experiences with drugs, poverty, prison, death, etc.. things I thought our youth could use here in this region.

I later heard of CF, at first thought it was just another Bull Sh$% program like P90X. I tried it. I thought I was in shape, I was training 3 hours a day, did triathlons, could run a 5 k in 19 minutes and squat over 500 lbs. Nothing could kick my ***...I was the toughest SOB you can think of, Special ops, Ranger, 3 combat tours, what can be so hard about a short 15 minute WOD I saw on the CF Website. Well it smoked me, it kicked my arse like nothing ever had. Maybe Just Ranger School and Combat, but man... I was in heaven I found my new drug.

Did CrossFit for months alone, trying to get in CF shape. I introduced CF to friends and to my Boot Camps.

I talked to a friend of mine and borrow some money to go get certified, Talked to my wife and told her this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. This is the gym I want. a CF gym. I want my own box.

Got certified, convinced my boss to let me buy 3k in equipment. Then I started doing CF classes for free to our members. In agreement to let me borrow some of the equipment for my Boot Camps.

My goal was to start by December 2010. One day I posted I was certified in CF, in The Rio Grande Valley. Some guy emailed me, he had been doing CF at the local gym, but wasn't sure he was doing anything right and the local gym didn't like him to do CF. So we met, we talked, he came to my CF classes. 2 weeks later, he (Dennis) was so happy with the way it was going. We met for lunch and he gave me a check to start at my garage. I was able to get the affiliation, some equipment, and insurance.

Before starting, Him and I went to visit some affiliates in Laredo, Texas and everyone was so cool. Gave us tips, and info on how to start and what to do.

I went to Houston and visited several there during the holidays, when I came back Dennis had bought even more equipment. We started at my Garage 3rd of January. All the people that had been doing Boot Camps with me came to my garage and liked it. Every Saturday, in January, we gave a 4 hours the On- Ramp. Charged $80 for unlimited classes.

To make the long story short. With in two weeks, I was at 50 plus members, we had 4 classes in the am and 4 classes in the pm. People really liked the variety of times. At 530 am, perfect for some before work, at 830am perfect for mothers after dropping off kids. 5pm good for just right out of work, even 6pm and 7 and 8p, for those that work late.

1st problem, equipment, which is a good problem to have. Had the basic stuff. 2nd problem, one neighbor in particular was calling the city and complaining.

I had My wife, bro in-law, and Dennis. They just volunteered. Everyone enjoyed CF. Week 3 we were at 60 or so, my wife ended up finding a place near by, that was for rent. We looked into it, were a little scared about taking the risk, and the rent being so high cause it is in one of the main streets of all the metro area. It is huge area. So we knew rent was going to be crazy, so we just asked to meet owner. To our surprise owner was cool, area was 4000 sq ft, at very, very cheap price. We were excited but couldn't believe it, we were still scared about getting a big place, we weren't sure if we were going to fill it up. Were our members going to follow us or not? We took the chance, moved, started had several more weekends to On- Ramp at $80, we got another 20 or so members. We were able to cover all expenses and buy a little more equipment. Dennis bought some more equipment. Of course he doesn't pay membership, and he doesn't want anything, but just CF. He is now coach and Oly cert, will go to Level 1 next month with my bro in law.

In February, we set a goal to reach 100 by summer so I could quit my now pain in the butt job at the college.

By Mid February, we had reach 90 plus. I was forced to quit my job. But it came out to be good, we got to 100 the following week. Fees in Feb went up, but people still paid them. They see their friends getting in great shape and talking real good about CF and they want to come.

So it is now almost end of March, we are 120 members, and I have signed a contract with a Div 1 pro Soccer team so they can come and train at our facility. So that puts us at 140 plus members. We are currently finishing another on-ramp, which now we do it a whole month, twice a week. And we have 10 people waiting for the next month already paid and ready to go.

We are actually having our Grand Opening tomorrow March 27th, I am doing an adventure race and donating money to two non profit organizations I often work with. Then having my current members here so they talk to new people that come in. We are the first CF in the area, I have not advertise at all, just word of mouth. One of my members is real good friends with the mayor who wants to come and check it out, as well as the consulate of Mexico, since a big number of my members are Mexican nationals.

I still stay in touch with other folks from other affiliates, they still give me advice, share WODs, and now I am planning some sports clinics in summer and kids fitness camps. I am working on doing a CrossFit Challenge in June before the games, several of my members love CF so much that they want to get cert and help us out during summer. I am also hopping to finish my Masters this summer and do my thesis on CF training.

So all came so fast, is moving faster then we expected. It is almost scary. But one thing that helps me and I advice to everyone is that you do it from the heart and people will see that and will follow you to where you go.

Even though I have being helping others a lot the last couple of years, CF has allowed me to go even bigger and give something even better to people. Our goal is to reach 200 by summer and get into a 10,000 sqft facility by December 2010. Luckily my landlord owns the 20k building next to me as well, and tenants move out in Dec.

So all those of you who have started at your garage, all I can say is think BIG, take the risk, believe in your product, and be honest with people and they will be loyal to you, they will bring their friends and families and you can have your own box sooner than you think.

Anyone ever needs any advice or help just PM me or go to my Website.

www.ranger-crossfit.com

Good luck everyone, CrossFit is awesome.

Rangers Lead the Way!!
SUA SPONTE !! Amazing story!
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:51 AM   #15
Helen Lawson
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Re: Garage Gym

I am a part-time trainer and have set up in my garage gym (bumpers, 5 bars, med balls, pull-up bar, squat racks, ghd....everything i want except a rower). I'm working on transitioning to group classes but all current clients want 1-on-1 time.

Anyway...i recently ran across this article i thought may be helpful here: http://www.performancemenu.com/artic...ty&shortyID=57 (w/f/s)

Its specifically talking about olympic lifting but the concepts apply across the board.

Good luck!
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Old 03-29-2010, 09:33 AM   #16
Bill Houghton
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Re: Garage Gym

Helen,

I can't get the link to open.
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Old 03-29-2010, 11:13 AM   #17
Michael White
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Re: Garage Gym

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helen Lawson View Post
I am a part-time trainer and have set up in my garage gym (bumpers, 5 bars, med balls, pull-up bar, squat racks, ghd....everything i want except a rower). I'm working on transitioning to group classes but all current clients want 1-on-1 time.

Anyway...i recently ran across this article i thought may be helpful here: http://www.performancemenu.com/artic...ty&shortyID=57 (w/f/s)

Its specifically talking about olympic lifting but the concepts apply across the board.

Good luck!
I cannot get the article to open. what is the name of the article so that I can try and find it that way? Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-30-2010, 05:26 AM   #18
Helen Lawson
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Re: Garage Gym

Ooops...lets try this one (w/f/s):

http://www.performancemenu.com/artic...ty&shortyID=57
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:02 AM   #19
Michael White
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Re: Garage Gym

Thanks I got it to work now. Will read soon
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